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Asia India Photo Essays

Portraits in India on 35mm | by Alexander Klein

February 17, 2017
By Alexander Klein

India opened her motherly arms and clasped me close to Her. I was immediately enraptured by the eyes of India’s people and the stories woven into their faces. With my passion for shooting portraits on film, the whole experience became like a cosmic rhythm of light flowing through me. My own eyes came alive and I felt as if I had stepped into another realm.

It was my first time in India and I really had no idea what to expect. The days of our journey consisted of coming into contact with God-like beings who expounded timeless wisdom and were abundant with love. We received blessings from elephants, meditated in Golden Temples and devoured delicious dosas and sweet chai. We also walked through the foothills of the Himalayas on our way to the Valley of Flowers, an incredible place like nothing I’d ever experienced. Nature, so alive and buzzing with cicadas and stories from another time.

One of the most significant moments shooting in India was when I was in Rishikesh. I was walking along the banks of the Ganga when this older Indian man passed me by. When I saw his face, I was entranced. Our eyes met for just a moment and I saw the playful light of life shining bright in his aged face. The connection was effortless yet fierce and powerful, and the charm to take his portrait was so compelling it pulled me in the opposite direction to where I was heading. I captured two portraits, which was more than enough. He was so graceful and accepting in the exchange. It left a deep impression on me and I felt like we had communicated in some energetic, unspoken language.

That portrait now hangs in my girlfriend’s meditation studio, so everyone can hopefully experience what I did when looking into his eyes.

All I can say about India is that all the stories you hear are true. It’s all real. And I can’t wait to get back there next month and capture another part of the vast experience that is India.

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Follow Alex on Instagram or visit his website for more beautiful portraits.

Growing up in South Africa, born to English and German parents, then moving to Australia in his teens gave Alex a multi-faceted perspective on life. His upbringing stimulated a curiosity to explore nature and understand what moves and inspires people.

“Through my travels, I’ve discovered that although there is infinite diversity in this world there is also an underlying unity of all things. This is what I experience each time I take someones’ portrait. What’s communicated through their eyes can make you see things in a whole new light. It continues to show me that it doesn’t matter what background, worldview, or life experiences you’ve had… at the end of the day, were all one and the same. And this is why I take photos. To show that beauty is everywhere and the playful light of life shines through everyone and everything.”

  • Reply
    Haram
    April 27, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing indian culture and people lining style so amazing and informative !!!

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